Senior Activity: Nature Walk

Being outdoors is therapeutic for human beings at any age. It’s also been shown to be a major positive contributor to the mental, physical and emotional health of seniors. Researchers say that spending time in nature has restorative effects in many ways. Being outdoors has the power to facilitate better moods, decrease depression, improve cognitive function and lower stress levels. The more time your loved one spends in nature, the greater the effects.
For those seniors who receive Chicago in-home care or personalized elder care, nature’s advantages are not just limited to being outdoors.  Studies show that simply gazing out of a window into a garden or park or even looking at pictures of nature, can help reduce stress as well.
In a study that involved more than 1900 people who participated in England’s Walking for Health program, researchers found that the seniors who went on nature group walk experienced greater mental health benefits while experiencing fewer negative effects due to stressful life situations.
The key here was to not only to expose each participant to the outdoors but for them to also be engaged in physical activity – the combination of those two elements would help to ‘improve positive affect and mental well-being,” according to study’s researchers.

Highland Park District Looks to Convert Golf Course Into Community Park

The Park District of Highland Park may soon be replacing the Highland Park Country Club with an open recreational space and habitat for the area’s plants and animals. The District plans to create a community destination with lakes and natural landscapes with 100 acres of open space dedicated for walking trails. According to Rebecca Grill director of natural areas for the park district, the space is for passive enjoyment, recreation and habitat benefits.
Freedom Home Care believes it’s good news for seniors who could stand to benefit from a multigenerational center being built at this location – as opposed to the vicinity near the High Park Library. A good course renovation would also help produce storm water storage capacity for all Highland Park residents and be located just east of Skokie River.
This decision was made largely due to the fact that the investment made in the country club by both the Park District is no longer generating the revenue the two entities expected. According to by Liza McElroy, park district executive director.
The move would end a 21-year-old agreement with the City of Highland Park as well as golf operations at the Highland Park Country Club. Over the last four years, the country club has lost more than $1 million dollars in revenue – $455,916 combined in 2013-2014 and $576,600 in 2015-2016 with a projected loss of $340,498 for 2017. Decreased participation at the club was another reason the Park District cited for halting golf operations.
At this rate, the facility is not only losing money, but the District stated in a press release, it would cost anywhere from $1.5 to $3 million to pursue renovations at the country club. On July 25, the Park District’s Board of Commissioners voted to bring its request before the Highland Park City Council to terminate golf operations at the HPCC in December.